McLaren was hit by turbo issues on its final day of testing in Barcelona as Fernando Alonso again lost out on track time.
A difficult start to the second test saw Stoffel Vandoorne limited by a hydraulics problem on Tuesday, before Alonso missed out on almost seven hours of running the following day when the power unit had to be changed following an oil leak. Following a much more productive third day of running for Vandoorne, Friday saw the McLaren again stop with an oil leak, with Alonso parking the car in exactly the same place as he had earlier in the week.
“We had a turbo issue this morning which was related actually to the chassis oil leak we had on [Wednesday] – a consequence, if you want,” racing director Eric Boullier said. “This is now under investigation. We have changed the PU, so the car is running now. We try the fastest way to get ready.
“Like I said, we had an ambitious design, so we had to work with the time we were on the track and not in the garage to try to understand the cooling. I think we did a race simulation yesterday without any issues. We are running now, and there are no issues anymore. We have adjusted our cooling and our needs to the car. So far it works.”
While confident in the team’s recovery to get the car back out on track on Friday afternoon, Boullier admits the problems faced this year will leave McLaren with some unanswered questions in terms of reliability at the first race in Australia.
“No, 100% sure [of reliability] we will not be, because obviously we have not run as much as we wanted, so there will be a higher risk of failure somewhere. Nevertheless, we had only minor issues which were all different. I think a good rebuild of the car for Australia will help us to fix a few issues.”
Asked again if McLaren has been too aggressive with its packaging of the Renault power unit in the rear of its car, Boullier replied: “That’s a call which I will do later; obviously we have to finish testing now and see how we’re going to go into the first race.
“Again, if you want to be competitive you have to be a bit aggressive and ambitious. Is it too much? I don’t think so. We just have to make sure in this strategy we leave enough time to do everything, that’s the only point I would say.”